By David De Jong
There’s a steamer trunk resting on the living-room floor,
Bearer of stories, treasures, memories, dreams galore.
Hardwood trim, dusty green, a tired rusty hinge,
Loving family left behind, pain and agony with a cringe.
Traveling on Queen Elizabeth, a luxury liner across salty seas,
It carried precious cargo, simple yet elegant, like hand-sifted teas.
Greeted in New York harbor, mid-century skyline view,
Welcomed personally, through Ellis, by Sweet Madam Blue.
Boarded a train and road the rails, for where, it did not know,
Unloaded in a small Midwestern town, buried in March snow.
Father, Mother, venturing, with two small boys,
A few belongings; heirlooms, and home-made toys.
Ever so gently release the clasp, open the lid and peer inside,
You’ll hear it moan, musty tears, of memories that still abide.
What it left was a country, ravaged by war, few left to stand,
What it carried were hopes, and dreams, brought to a new land.
The real American Dream, a better life, a chance, a bet,
Long hours working, life fulfilling, freedom, dripping in sweat.
Honesty, integrity, virtues of gold,
Faith – Hope – Trust – in a God of old.
Ages long gone since that voyage on the open sea,
Love blossomed, blessings, ever increasing family;
Children and great-grandchildren all share the name,
Shore to shore, age to age – God – still the same.
Below is a photocopy of a postcard, from the Queen Elizabeth, kept by my parents.